In Praise of Pale Girls

08/09/2006 at 04:45 PM ET

As the summer starts winding down, and beach devotees like Lindsay and Matthew gear up to make the most of the ending the season, we’d like to take a moment to salute those stars who have wisely steered away from tanning. Zooey Deschanel, Bryce Dallas Howard and Liv Tyler join the list of other cream complexion beauties like Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross who are as pale in August as they are in December. To keep your skin freckle-free, try Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock in SPF 45 (one of our must-haves!). You can also show your support of the non-tanning (and non skin-damaging) trend by picking up their Pale Is The New Tan tee shirt at, for $25; $3 from every sale benefits the American Cancer Society.

To see more of our favorite beauty trends click here

Photos:TSUNI/GAMMA; Roger Wong/INFGoff; Jemal Countess/WireImage

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Showing 67 comments

Lisa on

Being a natural red head with freckles, I have no choice but to be pale. Nicole Kidman has always been my inspiration!

Allana on

Good for them for not giving into the tanned Hollywood image. In 20 to 30 years they’ll still be white and tight, while the people who tanned will be baggy and saggy!

lenora on

Ladies, we are all beautiful! It does not matter what skin type you are!

Correy on

Wow. A tan is not dead skin cells, as one person commented. Those with fair complexions have dead skin cells as well. A tan is the melanin in a persons skin naturally reacting to the sun. No doubt, UV rays are damaging and can lead to skin caner and pre-mature aging. What some people don’t realize is, that while tanning can age skin faster, so can other enviromental factors such as pollution, stress, smoking, etc. No matter the color of skin (natural or otherwise), shape of eyes or style of hair, everyone has a different perception of beaty and health. These differences is what makes us unique and wonderful!

Monnie on

I just got back from my holidays in Hawaii. I got a great tan, though a few months later it will finish… I think if it’s summer, you just have to get sunbath for a few days!!!

Raya on

As another natural redhead, I can attest that sunburns are the worst! Sure, these actresses are embracing their complexions, but it’s also just self-defense against the pain!

I agree that all skin types are beautiful. I love my pale skin- but at the same time I feel the need to dress for it. Some styles just don’t look that great when you’re pale. Think you’ll ever see Nicole Kidman in Daisy Dukes? Not hardly.

Just as you have to consider the cut of an outfit for your figure, you should also look at your skin tone. As someone with fair skin, I can tell you that high collars look amazing. Some of my more tan friends just can’t pull off the same looks.

There’s positives and negatives of it all, and looks aren’t forever anyway. I’m just glad that my complexion is one that will help me stay healthy throughout my life. :)

sarah on

Pail skin is much better than that fake tan, there is something about that glowing orangeish skin so many celebs are sporting now days. And a real tan is just not worth it, even if skin cancer was not a very real danger, the sun is the number one cause of premature wrinkles, I may be pail now but in 20 years my skin will still be smooth and soft. As for the dead skin cells, every one has dead skin, thats why we wash our faces everyday and use a good face scrub, dead skin cells have nothing to do with a tan, sun damage on the other hand has everything to do with tanning.

Laura on

Avoiding tanning is pretty smart. In the long run, skin will look better without all the long-term exposure. I’m normally pale/fair-skinned myself and can’t tan. (I burn and peel.) I’m glad to hear that pale is in.

Heather on

thing 1 their is nothing wrong with freckles I have tons and I love them

Thing 2 their is a difference between being deathly pale and looking like you’ve never seen sunlight (totally gross) and having a nice glow and cute freckles

Thing 3 their is nothing wrong with having a nice NATURAL tan in the summer what is wrong is trying to get a tan that you end up frying yourself

I myself wouldn’t want to be as pale as the girls/women you mentioned it looks like you are ill

Jennifer on

I think a nice tan is really nice. Really, does a guy want some girl with really really pale skin?? He wants a girl thats hot and has a nice tan sun kissed skin. Unless he’s really pale, he probably won’t LOVE pale skin. But, as always, don’t go too tan.

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